Maintaining its prohibitory orders on commercial activity at Rohtang Pass, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday refused to allow paragliding in the eco-sensitive area and warned that it would initiate penal action if pollution was caused in the area.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar directed the paragliding association to prepare a draft plan to carry out regulated and controlled sports activities in the area to ensure that no pollution was caused in the area.
“You (paragliding) are the most polluting one. You throw plastic, foil papers, water bottles and other waste, etc., and say you don’t pollute. We are not going to allow you like this. Show us the bona fide intent that you want to comply with our orders. Don’t think that by making a hue and cry you will get an order in your favour. We will impose a cost of `1 lakh on you, if you will not ensure cleanliness,” the bench said.
“First, you prepare a draft plan with regard to your operation and go to secretary concerned and get it approved. Then, we will consider your submissions. Until, the state government (Himachal Pradesh) concurs with your plan, we will not say anything,” it added.
The observations came after the counsel appearing for the paragliding association sought permission from the bench to operate the adventure sports activity on the grounds that it did not cause any pollution.
The tribunal has imposed a complete ban on commercial activities including paragliding, snow scooters, horse riding, sledges and type-tube gaming at Rohtang Pass and its adjoining areas, including the Solang Nullah.
During the proceedings, the counsel appearing for the taxi association sought transparent allotment of permits to go to Rohtang Pass.
The NGT had earlier extended its stay on its order banning entry of all diesel and petrol tourist vehicles while limiting the number of vehicles entering the popular area to 1,000 per day.
It had directed each vehicle, permitted to go to Rohtang Pass, to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 1,000 for petrol vehicles, Rs 2,500 for diesel vehicles and Rs 5,000 for vehicles that carried more than six passengers.